General Tire Grabber 100 at the DuQuoin State Fair: Thomas “Moose” Praytor’s fondness of the dirt tracks started as a bad first date 5 years ago but has progressed to a love connection in 2017. “I was really lost my first time on the mile dirt. Mr. Wayne (Hixson) is an old dirt racer and he really helped me get going then Joe Cooksey got me going fast,” offered Praytor. Since then I keep improving my slideways and I really have a good time. The dirt has a way of equalizing the playing field for underfunded teams.”
General Tire Grabber 100 is a 1 day event with technical inspection, practice and General Tire Pole Qualifying and the Green Flag on Monday, Labor Day, afternoon at 3:00 CST. Live timing and scoring for practice, qualifying and the race will be on ARCAracing.com. MAVTV Live TV broadcast on American Sports Network or americansportnet.com.
MEET THE MOOSE: Thomas “Moose” Praytor will be meeting fans and signing autographs in front of the Grandstands from 2:00-2:30 on race day.
PRIMARY SPONSOR: DK-LOK Fittings & Valves dklokusa.com
ASSOCIATE SPONSORS: G-Force, Nudraulix, REALTOR, Rettigs Auto Body, APS Automotive Painters Supply, Dueitt’s Battery Supply, Airgas, MAECO Fabrication, John Thompson & Associates, Judy’s Place, Greer’s Food Market, AQUASALT, Wade Distributing, Campbell, Duke & Campbell, Omni Fitness, Golden Flake, Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, Praytor Realty
ARCA CHAMPIONSHIP STANDING: 7th
CAR: Roush Chassis #461,”Black Betty”-Black Betty has been the team’s short track stalwart and was the 2nd car the team purchased. Praytor drove the car to his career best ARCA finish of 7th at the ARCA Mobile 200 and Betty has been utilized seven times in 2017, Salem, Toledo, Madison, Iowa, LOR, Winchester, Road America & Elko.
What to look for this weekend: Springfield was one of the roughest dirt races in the history of the Series at Springfield. You figure a road course would help settle everyone down but with the carnage at Road America just about everyone is on edge headed in to this weekend. DuQuoin’s dirt is different than Springfield’s and the track races differently. Like Springfield the driver that slides that best at the end of the race will have a good day if they can keep up with an ever changing track surface. Tires will not be critical unless the old dirt gets hard and has solid rubber base on top.
DuQuoin State Fair Ground Track Specs:
1 mile dirt-flat
The green inner ring on the aerial photo looks like grass but its actually water. Make a wrong step at the end of pit road and you’ll be in the lake!
DK-LOK USA: Founded in 1986, DK-LOK Fittings and Valves supply industrial applications from analytical and process instrumentation, gas, power generation, petrochemical processing, ship building to semiconductor manufacturing. DK-LOK tube fittings, instrument pipe & weld fittings, and valves are manufactured to stringent industry standards. With the use of only the highest grade raw material and 1/1000″ tolerance control on each and every part, DK-LOK assures a leak-tight seal in all process, power, and instrumentation applications. DK-LOK USA is a Mobile, Alabama based firm operating nationally and internationally.
THOMAS “MOOSE” PRAYTOR: Praytor, the current Ironman of the Series made his 100th ARCA start at Road America in 2017 in a string that went all the way back to his first ARCA start in the inaugural ARCA-Mobile 200 at Mobile International Speedway in 2012. In his first season he saw action with Andy Belmont Racing and Venturini Motorsports. Mobile, Alabama’s Max Force Racing teamed with Hixson Motorsports in 2013 & 2014, the pairing finished 9th and 7th in the ARCA Series Championship standings respectively. In 2015 Praytor and his family owned Max Force Racing team struck out on their own from Mobile, Alabama earning another top 10 in the Championship standings coming in 8th. 2016 was a break out season for the Moose garnering his first top 5 finish in the Championship Standings. ARCA awarded Praytor the H.G. Adcox Sportsmanship Award in 2013.
Away from the track Praytor was one of AJ McCarron’s centers through grade school and high school winning a state title in 2007. For the last 5 years the duo have teamed up with a specially prepared McCarron replica racing helmet that Praytor wears then donates to the Alabama Institute of Deaf & Blind for their annual Race Fever auction. During the week Thomas becomes Professor Praytor teaching and testing CDL students at Bishop State College. For more on the Moose- www.thomaspraytor.com.